Robert Waller, Alvernia University

Robert WallerRobert Waller is a perfect candidate for the Newman Civic Fellows Award. After graduating from high school, Rob enlisted in the Army and served his country as a soldier stationed in Iraq. The lessons he learned during his time in the military provided Rob with a strong foundation for his commitment to social change. Rob has demonstrated the depth of this commitment as a student at Alvernia University through his involvement in many service-related initiatives both on campus and in the Greater Reading community.
It is Rob’s enthusiasm for inspiring others to do good in the world that makes him such an ideal candidate for this award. Nowhere was his commitment made more evident than in his decision to postpone his education in order to serve his country as a soldier. However, his passion for helping others and making a difference manifests itself clearly in his work for social change in his role a leader for a variety of service initiatives across campus and in the community. Rob’s commitment does not stop with himself. His enthusiasm for helping others is contagious. He has encouraged many students to follow his example and become leaders of positive change in our community. 
-Thomas Flynn, President

I define a leader as someone who can inspire and guide those around them with support and compassion to reach a common goal. The cub scouts introduced me to being engaged in my surrounding community. After high school I joined the U.S. Army and this introduced me to a new aspect of community engagement and leadership. After my experience in the military I enrolled at Alvernia University where I was able to put my life lessons into action. I have attended five alternative break programs and led two of them. This summer I have the opportunity to lead an alternative break group to Tennessee and be a leader at our campus’s Bog Turtle Creek Farm. The farm responds to the societal issue of food security by growing produce and selling it in an area of Reading that lacks access to healthy food. I have participated in countless days of service and Franciscan Fridays, along with spending two weekends at the Saint Francis Inn. I see community service as a learning tool that can be implemented in the future to fix social problems. I believe that knowledge is the key that will unlock the door to happiness.  
-Rob Waller